by John Newton
DID RELIGIOUS FUNDAMENTALISM WIPE OUT THE GREAT LIBRARY OF ALEXANDRIA IN THE FIFTH CENTURY?
COULD TECHNOLOGY DO THE SAME THING TO LIBRARIES AND UNIVERSITIES IN THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY?
In 1995, when signs and portents convinced the Guardians of Wisdom and Knowledge of a new, emerging threat to the evolution of human intelligence, they knew it was time to continue the project begun in the year 415.
Around the same time, serious challenges began to appear for historiographer and academic librarian John Newton. The continual growth and development of digital technology has spawned an aggressive corporation called Digital World. Their plan to digitize hard copy books and journals from all time may be a threat to the existence of the university library, even the university itself. And, if that’s not enough to worry about, budget cuts are announced.
No wonder he’s seeing things.
But that’s only the beginning. Soon John goes back in time to meet Yarrl, the cousin of Hypatia who is head of the most famous library ever. Worried by Alexandrian Christian Bishop Cyril’s serious threats against the Great Library, she has made a plan. She sends them on a mission to save the world’s valuable knowledge and wisdom contained in the library’s scrolls and codices.
As John and Yarrl walk south toward the Wadi Natrun in the Scetis Desert to find and secure appropriate storage space, they visit a monastery, learn about faith and spirituality among the Desert Fathers and meet Arsenius the Great.